Rose Cup Races: A Highlight Of 2015 Portland Rose Festival
Friday, June 12, 2015
One of the oldest and most prestigious is the annual Rose Cup Races, which will be held at the Portland International Raceway (PIR) on June 12th through the 14th. This is the oldest amateur road race west of the Mississippi River. They will be celebrating their 55th year with this year’s event. The Rose Cup Races attracts more than 400 amateur drivers in more than 25 classes that range from vintage racers to modern vehicles. Racers will come from all over the United States and Canada in order to prove their prowess on PIR’s challenging road course.
This year’s event will be the debut in Portland for the exciting Spec Racer Ford group, which pits 40 identically prepared race cars. Since each car is set up exactly the same, it provides a great showcase of pure driving skill. Other categories of racing include the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Solo Competition, Portland Karting Association and the GASS, which features V8 stock cars rubbing with their best Days of Thunder imitation. The NASCAR-like V8’s are built in Portland and will bring back the great sounds, look and feel of the old stock car days.
The Rose Cup website stated, “The tradition of rad racing in Portland goes back over 100 years. In June 1909, the Wemme Trophy was awarded to Bert Dingley, who won a race held on public roads between Portland and Gresham. Today, racers in the vintage class compete for the Wemme trophy to honor great drivers of any era”.
While general admission tickets are available purchase, the SCCA is offering people the opportunity to a little more than just watch. They are sponsoring Track Night in America, where a special indiviual can drive his or her own car on the racetrack at PIR. The event is open Friday night for several sessions with an SCCA race driver on hand as a personal coach. To sign up or get more information, visit the SCCA website here.
The Rose Cup Races could be the best value in town with the 3-day passes going for only $20 if purchased in advance and $25 if at the gate. There is fun for the whole family and children 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult.
For more information on the races and to purchase tickets, visit the Rose Festival site here.
Brad Boyer is owner of Carcierge, a car concierge company providing expert assistance on anything car-related. He also co-hosts Test Miles on 101.1 FM KXL on Sundays, and is a founding member of the Northwest Auto Press Association. You can email him your car-related questions at [email protected]
Related Slideshow: 7 Movies With Iconic Hollywood Star Cars
See seven films that featured important and iconic cars, or "star cars."
Who can forget Clark Griswold aka Chevy Chase in National Lampoon's Vacation, going to pick up his new “sports wagon” only to be forced to accept the Wagon Queen Family Truckster with amazing wood paneling. It was created just for this film and was based on a 1979 Ford LTD Country Squire which was equally embarrassing to drive. And, to add insult to injury, Clark had to try and be cool in this car when Christie Brinkely drove by in her Ferrari 308GTS.
This may not really be underrated as a picture car but because Mel Gibson soared to stardom after this film, it’s easy to forget the machine that helped make it happen. The 1973 XB GT Ford Falcon was simply, bad ass. This car never made it to the U.S. and was featured in the Australian film with a few modifications. The regular XB GT had a 351-cid V8, but for Mad Max the car creators fattened up the tires, gave it a new front nose and flares, and added a supercharger that stuck out of the hood. Despite the fact that the supercharger wasn’t real, it doesn’t diminish the cool factor.
Quentin Tarantino’s 2007 homage to the classic ‘70’s exploitation movies and muscle cars was modestly received, but for car geeks and car chase fans, it was awesome. Stuntman Mike, played by Kurt Russell, drove two classic movie cars in his psychopathic attempt to rid the roads of all hot women. His “death proof” cars were a 1971 Chevrolet Nova SS 396 that Rose McGowan’s character found out wasn’t “death proof” for the passenger. After he dispatched the first batch of women, he finds his next car, a 1969 Dodge Charger R/T 500. Unfortunately for Stuntman Mike, he was no match for the “Vanishing Point” 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T.
This 1976 movie was the inspiration to other coast to coast racing movies like Cannonball and Cannonball Run. Don’t hold that against it. This film featured some great fun, great cars and the tagline for every boy racer that summer, “GUMBALL." Michael Sarrazin played a rich, bored businessman. He sends word to his fellow racers via a gumball that the race is on from New York to the Queen Mary in Long Beach. The movie featured a young, funny Rau’l Julia who was the professional Ferrari driver and uttered the perfect car racer line as he rips off the rear view mirror, “what is behind me is not important.” Some of the beautiful cars making the cross country trip were an AC Cobra, Ferrari Daytona and Gary Busey behind the wheel in a Camaro Z-28.
Larry Brown was the West Coast PR manager for VW/Porsche Audi in the early 80’s when a director came to him with a great script idea and wanted to use a Porsche for his movie Risky Business. Brown read the script and then thought about his conservative German bosses and how they would react to a high school kid running a brothel out of his parent’s home when they were out of town. And, oh by the way, dumping a 928 into Lake Michigan. He said he had to pass. Fortunately for us and Porsche, the director had only the Porsche 928 in mind for the star car and found one of his own. Tom Cruise, who had never driven a stick, learned to drive on the Porsche. While the 928 now ranks as one of the least interesting Porsches made, this film made it cool for a while. Who can forget Joel, Lana and Miles escaping from Guido the Killer Pimp and puling up to the curb and Cruise uttering the great Porsche marketing slogan, “Porsche, there is no substitute.” That is probably only matched when, after the cars swim in the lake, the car door is opened at the dealership and the shop manager asks, “so, who’s the U Boat commander” This was perfect proof that the right car can help make a movie.
To Live and Die in LA
William Friedkin’s 1985 stylish drama with young William Petersen and Willam Dafoe showcased a chase scene on and off the freeways of LA and rivals that of Bullitt. The car Petersen drove to escape his pursuers was a 1985 Checy Impala F41. It had been rented directly from the LAPD. The car sequence was shot in six weeks and apparently, Fridkin wasn’t so sure of its success and shot it last so that if anything happened to the actors, the balance of the movie was in the can.
The repetitious saying, “what happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas” didn’t prove true for the beautiful 1965 Mercedes Benz 220SE Convertible that Bradley Cooper and crew take to Vegas in the first, and best, Hangover film. This was the perfect choice for classic cars for the screws ups to take on their bender weekend. During the making of the film, three convertibles were used to make the film and a couple of coupes were cut up and pieced together to look like the classic Mercedes so no fears on its destruction. It was just movie magic.
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